ARTIST: CHAPTER AND VERSE
WORDS: SOPHIA WATSON
Recently announced as the support act for Emarosa’s tour, Chapter and Verse have released their long awaited EP Glow – nearly three years after 2016’s EP The Wolves Back Home. The self-released work by this alt-rock quartet from East London – the self-proclaimed ‘new breed’ – totals seven tracks, two of which are recorded live at Moshhh. It’s a brave release that aims to explore various elements of identity with a brutal honestly that left vocalist Josh Carter wondering if he’d discussed the real lives of his family and friends in too intimate of a way: delivering songs that speak of growing up, self-improvement, and the highs and lows of discovering yourself. Yet, this authenticity is the real proof of why they have been dubbed ones to watch.
The EP opens with the unexpected track ‘The Casket’, which provides a nostalgic numbness as it begins with guitars like soft waves and mist. When the vocals chime in they appear to call out delicately across this ocean of strings with impressive control and tone; Carter allows his accent to drip through as he sings which makes for a more nuanced and interesting vocal tone that enhances the yearning embedded within the lyrics. Half way through this trickling track the pace picks up with thudding guitars and drums as they thrash through a small breakdown; however, at this juncture a more imaginative guitar riff would have been a more unusual crescendo and would have demonstrated their true talent. This song is the perfect opening to the album, leading the listener into their EP slowly and breaking their expectations.
“delivering songs that speak of growing up, self-improvement, and the highs and lows of discovering yourself….this authenticity is the real proof of why they have been dubbed ones to watch..”
Following from this, Chapter and Verse move into the song ‘Magazines’, the first single released from Glow. This track continues to increase the pace following from the opening number, injected with a more aggressive attitude; pronounced drums and thrashing chords that are reminiscent of their metal inspirations and melt into the angst driven number that explores issues of identity – with the incendiary chant of ‘I am the man I am because of those I’m scared of losing’ ringing in the ears of the listener.
The third song ‘Eleven Hours in Real Time’ highlights the talent of the band’s percussion: bass lines flirt with the delicate drums to create an atmospheric background for Carter’s once again impressive vocals. This number acts to cleanse the tone of the album as it softens back into the numbness of the opening tune.
‘A Devil in Blue’ jerks into action with the thrashing guitars that the band clearly feel comfortable with, and whilst the change in pace between songs is refreshing, at points it occasionally swamps the aching power of Carter’s voice. Despite this, Chapter and Verse introduce a charming groove into the song, but it is when the breakdown in the bridge kicks in that an impressive anger is showcased that really makes the listener stand up and take in the meaning of the song.
The last of the five studio tracks ‘Ink’, the second single from the EP, once more showcases Carter’s well matured vocals, filled with longing tones that call out for attention. This number touches on concepts of identity on a more profound level, which is likely to connect with the listener. Whilst a well-constructed tune, with falsetto high singing, drums that flow with the song perfectly and a bass line that thuds along to keep the pace of the song, it is the outro guitar riff that completes the song – delicately fading into the black.
“a provocative selection of songs that showcases just how talented and versatile the quartet is”
The EP closes with two live tracks; ‘Magazines’ is played in a similar manner to the studio version, yet the layering of earthy screams and the use of echoing back-up vocals during the bridge creates a haunting feeling that displays just how electrifying this song can be. The last track is ‘Ink’ reimagined with piano and duet vocals that truly demonstrates how versatile this band really is. Piano and vocals melt together in a myriad of longing which closes the album suitably, fading away slowly leaving the listener craving for more.
Chapter and Verse’s second EP Ink is a provocative selection of songs that showcases just how talented and versatile the quartet is. It is the lyrical content that really shines, alongside Carter’s vocals that sway between serene and aggressive with ease, and the way in which each song is stitched together to become an exploration of identity.